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40 locations being targetted
Choice Hotels International is planning a major expansion in the UK with up to 40 new properties in the next 12 months.
Duncan Berry, Choice Hotels Europe's chief operating officer, said there were a total of 60 hotels in the pipeline for the whole of Europe.
Mr Berry said the three-star franchise chain, which has 5,000 properties worldwide, said hotels in Crewe and Reading would be joining the group soon.
He was also in negotiations for properties in Glasgow, Leeds, Blackpool and Birmingham and is looking for new hotels in the London area.
"We have identified about 40 properties which we are looking at in markets where we don't have a presence," he said.
Mr Berry said that the group has 47 properties in the UK, including one Clarion brand in Northern Ireland and the rest about equally divided between its other two brands, Quality and Comfort.
He was speaking at the opening of the latest property, the Quality Hotel Maitrise in Maida Vale, north London.
The opening also marked the launch of Choice Europe's set of new standards fro its brands.
These include upgraded bedding, free high speed internet access or WiFi, and a consistent style of breakfast.
Mr Berry said the new standards all existed in the new 50-bedroom propertry and would be available in the other 46 over the next 12 months.
He said because the chain was purely a franchise operation with on owned properties, it was not being affected as much by the recession.
"The current economic climate is even favourable to us as we have independent hoteliers coming to us asking to become part of the operation.
"But we are not going into any market in the UK for a short term gain. It would have to be a good market for us," he said.